[Volunteers] Using Linux in Canada

peter at netpedant.com peter at netpedant.com
Tue May 9 17:05:13 EDT 2006

I've just sent this to Olivia Chow (NDP) my MP.
You might want to write your MP.  This is a bizarre 
state of affairs.

From: peter at netpedant.com
To: chowo at parl.gc.ca
Subject: accessing government sites
Date: Tue, 09 May 2006 14:00:03 -0700

Ms Chow,
I am writing because I have had difficulties getting into
contact with two different Government agencies via the 
Web in the past six weeks.

My first problem was with Revenue Canada, where I discovered
that the payment mechanisms would not recognize my computer
system.  I have now discovered that the widely-advertised
Statistics Canada system for the ongoing census suffers from
the same issue.

I use an operating system called Linux.  I use Web browsers
called Mozilla (on one machine) and FireFox (on another).

The "fact page" for Secure Channel lists as a benefit "accessiblity 
to government programs."  From the on-line census page, it appears 
that this "accessibility" is limited to Windows 98, NT, ME or XP
and Mac users with Safari 1.2.4.  (I own a Mac, but I do not run
Safari on it, preferring FireFox.)

I got "Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements to 
access this site."

Calling the "help" number evinced no sympathy -- in fact, no 
comprehension of the problem.  I was "advised" to use a friend's 
or a relative's computer.  This is not what "open access to 
government" hinted to me.

As there are more Linux users in Canada than Mac users, the 
selection criteria (which are not publically accessible) might
be of interest.  Why are users of Windows on old machines 
preferred to users of modern systems on new machinery?

I mailed in my cheque to Revenue Canada.
I have filled in and mailed my census form.

The Government has spent many millions of dollars to ensure 
that I cannot access "government programs" from my machines.

Your loyal constituents,
Peter H. Salus
Mary W. Salus
		Peter H. Salus, Ph.D.	
		Mary W. Salus, Ed.D.
		211 St. Patrick St., #1001
		Toronto, ON M5T 2Y9
	peter at netpedant.com         +1 416 408-1728

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